By-Laws of The Gallipolis Christian Church
4486 State Route 588
Gallipolis, OH 45631
Amended and Adopted on 06/09/2019
The name shall be “Gallipolis Christian Church.”
The purpose of this local body of believers is to edify and equip both sinners and saints, to exalt the Son of God - namely Jesus, the Messiah - by way of faithful fellowship, diligent Bible teaching, purposeful evangelism, consistent prayer, heartfelt worship, and sacrificial service. In these ways, we hope to extend the goodness and glory of God into the world.
Gallipolis Christian Church is a self-governed congregation, under the leadership of elected overseers and ministers, with no denominational affiliations; yet willing to cooperate in ministry with all Gospel affirming Christians within denominations.
Membership within the local congregation of the Gallipolis Christian Church shall consist of a voluntary acceptance of these tenets: belief in the Bible as the only rule of life and faith, reception of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as presented in our “Statement of Beliefs,” repentance of sin, public confession of Jesus as Lord, commitment displayed through baptism, continued service for His Kingdom, and a willingness to serve under Overseers and Ministers of the Gallipolis Christian Church.
Membership will be confirmed by the signing of a covenant with the church. This membership covenant will be available to any who make a request, and will lay out biblical commitment to the local church and the expectation of a faithful follower of Christ. Submission to Christ as the Head, and sacrificial service to one another within the Body of Christ are the themes of this covenantal agreement, in order to foster healthy church life and effective ministry for the Kingdom of God in the earth.
When membership is forfeited or withdrawn for any reason, all offices and voting privileges will be removed from the former Member. The Overseers retain the right to cancel membership for an unrepentant church member, or for a church member who has been absent for a period of greater than 1 year, without explanation or known significant illness.
The Gallipolis Christian Church will meet annually during the month of June, preferably the second Sunday of the month. The notice of this meeting will be announced from the pulpit and other means of communication at least two weeks in advance. Those Members present at such a meeting shall constitute a quorum. Those Members age 18 and older are eligible to vote on any matters presented at this meeting.
The annual meeting of the Gallipolis Christian Church should include a review of the previous year’s minutes, election of any church officers whose term has ended and needs to be renewed - as well as new nominees for church offices, new business delivered by designated church leaders, and new business brought by any Members present.
Special congregational meetings may be called at the Overseers’ discretion; or with the desire of 25% of the active Membership, over age 18, as presented in writing with signatures to the Overseers, not to be written in anonymity, and to be discussed with the Overseers in advance. This special meeting can occur with at least two weeks’ notice from the pulpit and other communication.
Emergency congregational meetings can occur at any time with the approval of the Overseers, or in the case of no Overseers, the Lead Minister, and may be held as soon as possible with the notice of a pulpit announcement; or by mass email, social media, and telephone communication to as many congregants as possible. This meeting may only occur when a crisis or unforeseen circumstance requires a congregational vote or discussion.
The offices of the church shall consist of Ministers, Overseers, Deacons, Trustees, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, Financial Secretary, Assistant Financial Secretaries, and Clerk.
The Lead Minister shall be defined according to the New Testament concept of the teaching and preaching overseer of the church (1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus). He is to be a servant, not a master. He must rely on the wisdom of the Bible for his conduct and attitude, giving his time and forsaking self-satisfaction for the sake of Christian love.
The Lead Minister will work together with the Overseers of the church to provide faithful teaching and spiritual care. He will also help maintain the administrative duties of the local church. His full job description will be found in a mutually agreed upon contract.
The Overseers of the church will be responsible for choosing the Lead Minister. The Overseers will diligently search out a godly man with the leading of the Holy Spirit in prayer. Ultimately, the Overseers will also be responsible for the continued evaluation of the Lead Minister, to be sure that he is obeying the biblical model of leadership.
Other Ministers will be selected and recommended to the congregation for approval in like manner, based on the same biblical expectations. (i.e. Student Minister, Children’s Minister, Worship Minister, etc.)
All Ministers will be elected in like manner: After approval from the Overseers, the congregation will receive two weeks notice of the vote, with a pulpit announcement and other communication. The congregation will be given a minimum period of 24 hours for prayer and fasting by those willing and able, followed by the vote. This vote will require 3/4 majority of ballots in order to pass.
Overseers (previously referred to as Elders, but amended to the more biblically appropriate title for the role) shall be defined by the New Testament descriptions of their office (1 Timothy, Titus). They are to be servants, not masters. They must rely on the wisdom of the Bible for conduct and attitude, giving their time and forsaking self-satisfaction for the sake of Christian love.
Overseers are the caretakers of Christ’s church. They must be capable spiritual leaders, watching over the different areas of church ministry, and providing the biblical role of shepherds to God’s flock. This will require the regular meeting of these leaders as they serve the Lord together, and faithful attendance at church gatherings.
The Overseers will work in tandem with the Ministers in the oversight of the local congregation. Together, these leaders will be responsible for:
- the orderly worship of the church,
- the varying ministries to all of the local church members,
- the faithful teaching of God’s Word,
- the rebuking of sin and the necessary discipline of sin within the fellowship,
- the protection of the church’s reputation as a people who do good and love well,
- the keeping of peace and unity within the local church,
- the unity of all Christians as much as it depends upon their behavior.
Overseers will be selected form within the local church, having shown a desire to lead God’s people by example, and must be questioned by the current Overseers and Ministers to see if they are ready to serve in said capacity. If married, the man’s wife and children still living at home will also be interviewed.
When the current Overseers feel ready to recommend someone for the office of Overseer, the voting process will mirror that of a Minister.
Overseers will serve a term of 3 years, to be renewed by another vote, with the consent of the other Overseers, and with the desire of the Overseer being reelected. If an Overseer desires to step down from his office during his 3 year term, he is asked to give a brief explanation to the congregation, or allow the current Overseers to explain the action.
Deacons shall be defined by the New Testament descriptions of their office (1 Timothy, Titus). They are to be servants, not masters. They must rely on the wisdom of the Bible for conduct and attitude, giving their time and forsaking self-satisfaction for the sake of Christian love.
Overseers and Ministers will consider those interested in serving as Deacons, to determine if they are capable and spiritually mature for the task. They must be respected within the congregation and display faithful attendance and participation in the local church. Deacons must fit the biblical qualifications (Acts, 1 Timothy.)
The role of Deacon is that of a servant, most importantly to alleviate the work of the Overseers and Ministers, so that they can pursue greater spiritual leadership. The Deacons are responsible for the physical care of the local church members and facilities, including:
- the consideration of orphans and widows
- the ministries of benevolence
- the administration of the Lord’s Supper for shut-ins
- the maintenance of all church property and facilities
- the stewardship of church resources, together with the Overseers
The election of a Deacon will follow that of Ministers and Overseers.
Deacons will serve a term of 3 years, to be renewed by another vote, with the consent of the Overseers, and with the desire of the Deacon being reelected.
Trustees shall be members in good standing, respected within the local church. The Overseers will determine whether a person is qualified for the office of Trustee.
Trustees are legal representatives of the local church for banking, taxes, and other civic purposes pertaining to the organization of the church, outside of its spiritual functions. Trustees are the endorsing signatures on church documents, and are to maintain the church’s compliance to federal, state, county, and city laws as appropriate.
Trustees will exist as a board of 3 members. Each Trustee will be elected by a majority vote at the annual congregational meeting with advance notice, as explained in these by-laws. Trustees will serve a term of 3 years, to be renewed by another vote, with the consent of the Overseers, and with the desire of the Trustee being reelected.
Trustees will work under the advisement of the Overseers, Ministers, and Deacons.
The Treasurer must be a member in good standing, with a strong comprehension of business affairs and money management. The Overseers will determine if a person is fiscally responsible and able to carry out the office of Treasurer.
The Treasurer will be responsible for the bookkeeping and fiscal records of the church. These records are to be made available upon request by any member. The treasurer is authorized to sign checks for all funds of the church.
The Treasurer will be elected by a majority vote at the annual congregational meeting, as explained in these by-laws.
The Treasurer will work under the advisement of the Overseers, Ministers, and Deacons.
The Assistant Treasurer(s) will be chosen and elected in the same manner as the Treasurer. The responsibility of the Assistant Treasurer(s) shall be to assist the Treasurer in his/her duties, and to perform those duties when the Treasurer is unavailable.
The Financial Secretary must be a member in good standing, with a strong comprehension of business affairs and money management. This individual must also be able to keep confidence in all matters pertaining to the offerings of the church. The Overseers will determine if a person is fiscally responsible and able to carry out the office of Treasurer.
The Financial Secretary will be responsible to count all offerings after each worship service, keep a record of offerings and gifts to the church, including those made online. These records must maintain individuals’ gifts to the church, most especially for tax purposes. Confidentiality must be maintained in these personal matters.
The Financial Secretary will be elected by a majority vote at the annual congregational meeting, as explained in these by-laws.
The Financial Secretary will work under the advisement of the Overseers, Ministers, and Deacons.
The Assistant Financial Secretary(ies) will be chosen and elected in the same manner as the Financial Secretary. The responsibility of the Assistant Financial Secretary(ies) shall be to assist the Financial Secretary in his/her duties, and to perform those duties when the Financial Secretary is unavailable.
The Clerk must be a member in good standing, with an ability to keep careful records and maintain little-to-no bias during church meetings. The Overseers will determine if a person is capable of filling the office of Clerk.
The responsibilities of the Clerk are the keeping of minutes from every official church meeting, in writing or typed, made available to church members upon request. The Clerk will read the previous meeting minutes at each succeeding church meeting, and ask for approval of said minutes before proceeding to new business. The Clerk will also keep careful records of all church membership placement, baptisms, and other pertinent statistics of church life as appropriate.
The Clerk will be elected by a majority vote at the annual congregational meeting, as explained in these by-laws.
Election of church officers will be performed with the casting of ballots. Absentee ballots will be made available 2 weeks prior to the congregational vote, for those who will be unable to attend.
In the event that an officer is not elected by the appropriate majority, or in the case of death, an office may be filled temporarily by appointment from the Overseers, for the continued functionality of the church and her ministries.
Officers of the church can be removed for the following:
- voluntary resignation
- biblical misconduct
- refusal to cooperate with present leadership
- dissension within the congregation, effected by the officer
Amendments to these by-laws can be made at any congregational meeting, with the requirement that the amended by-laws be offered to those interested members at least 1 week in advance. A majority vote in favor of the amended by-laws will result in their immediate adoption.
The present by-laws may be abolished in part, or in their entirety, by a majority vote at any congregational meeting.